The PS4 is home to some truly excellent exclusive titles, such as Marvel’s Spider-Man, God of War and Horizon: Zero Dawn – and Sony showed off nine new games from its worldwide studios during its PS5 games reveal event, including Horizon Forbidden West, Gran Turismo 7 and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart.
Interestingly, Sony and Microsoft are taking two very different approaches when it comes to handling next-gen exclusives. Microsoft is making sure that Xbox Series X games, like Halo Infinite, will also work on Xbox One and also puts all of its first-party games on Xbox Game Pass, day and date of release.
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Sony, meanwhile, has promised that games designed exclusively for PS5 will only work on its next-gen console. That means you won’t be able to play Horizon Forbidden West on PlayStation 4, for example.
Only on PlayStation
Speaking to The Guardian (opens in new tab), Sony executive vice-president Simon Rutter stressed that exclusives are “hugely important. More important, I think, than they’ve ever been.” Rutter also believes that exclusives are necessary so that developers and system designers can make the most of a console’s capabilities.
“Through their proximity to the system’s designers, PlayStation’s studios are able to really extract the most out of the system performance and that’s a really valuable attribute for a platform holder to have,” said Rutter. “[PlayStation] can rely on a studio network that can really show off the innovations that we’re trying to put across… when the exclusives are as powerful as Marvel’s Spider-Man or Horizon, they are important games that people want to play.”
An example of this approach will be seen in Gran Turismo 7, which Rutter promises will "benefit from almost every PS5 tech enhancement."
In a recent interview with GamesIndustry.biz (opens in new tab), Sony Interactive Entertainment’s president and CEO Jim Ryan echoed the company’s approach and said players shouldn't expect PS5 games to come to PS4. “We have always said that we believe in generations,” Ryan said. "We believe that when you go to all the trouble of creating a next-gen console, that it should include features and benefits that the previous generation does not include. And that, in our view, people should make games that can make the most of those features.
“We do believe in generations, and whether it's the DualSense controller, whether it's the 3D audio, whether it's the multiple ways that the SSD can be used... we are thinking that it is time to give the PlayStation community something new, something different, that can really only be enjoyed on PS5.”
With two differing strategies, then – one seemingly based on value and the other based on maximizing new technology – it will be interesting to see which approach will resonate most with consumers when both consoles release later this year.
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